The Covenant - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Covenant Reviews

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October 9, 2016
Sebastian Stan is hot and the soundtrack really got me. Everything else is bad.
September 3, 2016
This is like watching a bad teen soap opera that was given an extensive budget and was written by David Decoteau. It's ridiculous and nonsensical.
August 29, 2016
Sexy actors. Loved the story
½ July 18, 2016
With Renny Harlin at the helm as director, The Covenant sounded like a potential guilty pleasure.

The mistake I made with The Covenant was thinking that it was a fantasy film or an action film, even though multiple forms of the film's cover art suggested that it would be. In actual fact, The Covenant is quite literally a teen soap opera with random fantasy themes. Of course, the majority of the film obsesses over the former as opposed to the latter for some ridiculous reason and as a result the film is mostly dominated by lifeless dialogue which relies heavily on the cliches of any other contemporary teenage drama.
Frankly, The Covenant could not have less to do with its title. Though the story consistently hints at some kind of dark magical force being at play, it plays off like an afterthought to the ridiculous melodrama which weighs down the majority of the script. The film is far more talkative than it is stylish, and nobody has anything interesting to say. Most of the dialogue pertains to the everyday existence of the main characters and the generic relationships they share, but when it comes to the underlying themes of witchcraft there is nothing to say about that. In the rare case that anybody touches upon these concepts there is barely enough dialogue to actually explain any of it, and what there is comes with no themes of interest to anyone. As a result, the witchcraft in the story is quite arbitrary and almost pointless to the film. I mean, if you actually take away the themes of magic from the story you have a generic tale of teenage popularity being threatened by an outsider. With the addition of witchcraft into the story the experience is ultimately worse because the final product is just as hollow yet the dark fantasy elements suggest that there was more that could have been done with the film which was ultimately never realized.
The Covenant wants to be a modern day tale of witchcraft, but Renny Harlin finds no way to bridge the generation gap between the genre and modern day teenage cinema which leaves the film to play out more like a bad episode of Supernatural (2005-present) than anything else. In actuality, The Covenant would have been better as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). Then the conflict between the characters would have a better universe to occur in while audiences would have someone they could actually care about. With The Covenant's one-dimensional and careless teenage characters as the central heroes and villains, there is no sense of establishing any kind of connection to either side of the spectrum.
The Covenant doesn't have any sense on how to implement any kind of dark fantasy themes into its story, but that hardly matters because writer J.S. Cardone doesn't even try. At best, the magical element of The Covenant is just a hook to trick audiences into actually watching the film as there is hardly anything else to help it stand on its own.
Much of the film is just shots of topless teenage boys, few of whom do not have muscular builds. It's not hard to see how The Covenant earned a cult following for its homoerotic undertones as a result. In that sense The Covenant can be viewed as a film entertaining in its badness for the unintentional results of its material. Alas even then it would only be to a short extent because the film obsesses over taking itself so seriously that there is never a moment of any real fun in the experience. I can't help but feel like The Covenant is too much of a version of The Craft (1996) for the 2006 crowd. Both films feature four main characters attempting to live out teenage lives while experimenting with supernatural powers. However, the difference is that The Craft did it right. Even though The Craft is a far from perfect film, it remained focused on capturing audience appeal with a greater focus on exploration of witchcraft while also finding the right gimmicks to bring out of its cast. In The Covenant everyone is as useless and bereft of charisma as each other, and the script does none of them any favours in disguising this. The Craft was a proud guilty pleasure which capitalized on trends of the time, but The Covenant fails to determine what its intended audience is actually interested in and relies on tropes from generic horror films to drive its melodramatic material. The misguided use of a generic rock soundtrack in a story intended to be about witchcraft definitely doesn't help anything. Ultimately, I guess you could say that The Covenant is a 90's film attempting to find an audience in the wrong decade. It would make sense to say that since Renny Harlin's biggest career achievements came from the 1990's, but there isn't even any dying spirit left in The Covenant. Ladies and gentlemen, Renny Harlin is simply a man past his prime as a filmmaker.
But I will admit that the visual style of The Covenant is nice. The colour scheme in the film manages to capture modern day scenery in a rather dark fashion which manages to give it an effectively witchy feeling, and the cinematography that captures it all does it with an accurate horror movie feeling. The atmosphere in the film is completely misguided, but you can tell by the technique in the cinematography that it adheres to a traditional horror film style with its effective use of close-ups and slow movements during the more intensively intended moments. The visual effects in the film are also decent, even though there is little actual use of them. For a low budget film, the visual effects certainly manage to prove detailed and fairly convincing.

Despite the sporadic use of stylish imagery, The Covenant is ultimately an incredibly one-dimensional teenage soap opera with lifeless characters, an unoriginal story, little magic and even less action.
May 31, 2016
What an amazing piece of garbage.
May 14, 2016
Its says a lot when you realize reading the reviews was more enjoyable than the movie.
April 1, 2016
Was good but couldn't help but feel they could of done more.
March 17, 2016
I was in the mood for a guilty pleasure night (don't judge). Saw this flick pop up on a friend's facebook feed and thought 'why not?'
Ten minutes into the film (using the term loosely here) I realized I already tried to watch this once and turned it off because I felt my IQ dropping to a dangerously low level. But what the hell, I thought 'power through'.
Spoiler alert. I didn't power through. I turned it off again. Bad writing, bad acting, bad music, bad CGI, BAD RENNY HARLIN! BAD!
February 12, 2016
This movie has one of the worst soundtracks I have ever heard. There is constant weird music and noises that really distract you from what is going on. It was also too demonic for me and visually disturbing. (First viewing - Fall 2006 in theaters)
½ December 1, 2015
I loved this film. Its very simple, sure, but its moody, and it doesn't insult you. Its really nice to have a gothic film that revolves around male characters for once. usually its all about girls. Either girls with superpowers, or else about girls with whom super powered men fall in love...but the main characters are always female. This is finally about men!, which makes this movie very original. The funny thing is that people always claim that movies they don't like are not original..but they can never tell you what other movies they are similar too. Name two movies similar to this if you can.
½ September 24, 2015
Weak acting, plot, and script. The movie had potential but I found myself only enjoying the music. The female lead is unbearable while the predictability of the movie puts you fives steps ahead past the end.
½ September 17, 2015
Just useless teenagers doing useless work on film.
September 12, 2015
Most my stars are for the cinematography but it also managed to make an overused idea it's own with a lot of really clever little things brought in through research, camera angles and actors that were willing to go the extra mile.
Runny Harlin had to deal with a lot of hard circumstances and did an amazing job despite them.
If you don't know what I mean watch the commentary and special features
July 28, 2015
I like this movie. Yes it has some cheesy lines and acting but the cinematography is great, tomandandy's music was eerily on point with several of the scenes and there are some genuinely creepy moments. It doesn't hurt that I happen to like all the actors. I do think that it would have benefited the movie if they had delved a bit more into the back story of the families and the subsequent banishment of John Putnam.
July 27, 2015
Plays like a witch version of "The Lost Boys" . But "Lost Boys" was actually good. The cast is almost unbelievably attractive and that turns out to be the best thing in the movie. Silly dialogue and unintentionally funny moments make the film pretty bad...but easy to watch.
May 3, 2015
S'okay I guess... But hollow, but watchable... Left wondering what of the other three though... And Kate!!
Feels like there should be another film!!
May 1, 2015
It's 'The Craft' but with boys.
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2015
Trying blatantly to cash in on the cult success of The Craft, The Covenant first has an all male leading class instead of women, and there's one other defining difference: Unlike The Crat, it's crap.
February 17, 2015
One good thing about this movie: there are a lot of cute guys. It was actually pretty good. It tried to have a plot, but what they had was pretty confusing. However, they tried. So, it wasn't JUST an action movie. Pretty good.
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